Nils Patrik Johansson
The Great Conspiracy

Label: Metalville
Three similar bands: Astral Doors/Wuthering Heights/Lion's Share

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. The Agitator
2. One Night At The Cinema
3. The Baseball League
4. Freakshow Superstar
5. March Of The Tin Foil Hats
6. Prime Evil
7. Killer Without A Gun
8. The Great Conspiracy
9. This Must Be The Solution
10. Requiem Postlude

Nils Patrik Johansson - vocals
Lars Chriss - guitar
Kay Backlund - keyboards
Andy Loos - bass
Fredrik Johansson - drums

Evil Deluxe (2018)

Tommy Denander - all instrument on the world music part in Prime Evil
Håkan Hemlin - vocals on Freakshow Superstar

Produced and mixed by Lars Chriss in Lion's Share Studio for
Mastered by Mike Lind
Cover art by Mattias Hinders
Digipak and booklet Design by Claudio Brenig
Prologue by Dan Hörning
Photo by Mediaverkstan, Borlänge

Released 2020-02-28
Reviewed 2020-02-11


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28th of February 1986 is a date etched into the Swedish consciousness, it was the first time a national leader in Sweden was murdered since Gustav III in the 18th century. The murder of prime minister Olof Palme is something Johansson has been interested in for a long time and now he has decided to make an album about it, one that is released 34 years after the murder, on the same date. I was too young to have any real memories of the murder or what Palme did, but he seems to have been a very interesting politician of a kind that you do not see very often. Perhaps it is his murder that has led to today’s politicians in Sweden being so bland, like little children in the sandbox always afraid to have opinions. On this album Johansson tells the story about the murder, the backgrounds and most important traces in the investigations. The murder is still unsolved almost 34 years later.

Personally, I am not that fond of reviewing albums with Johansson on vocals as it seems to always lead to mails from people dubbing me an idiot or worse because I don’t really like how Johansson sings. I find that very annoying as opinions are neither right nor wrong, they just are and mine is that the vocal style of Johansson often is quite annoying. And that is a shame as his band Astral Doors usually makes very good music, his solo debut released in 2018 was pretty decent but the vocals were pretty dull. This one is a bit darker and it kind of takes us back, it feels like being there in the eighties experiencing the national trauma when the prime minister was killed and the investigations afterwards.

The production of the album is great, I really like the soundscapes and events painted by Johansson and Chriss on this album. Johansson sings better than anything I have heard by him before this one, and it is probably one of the finest albums he appears on. Great songs all the way through with opener The Agitator setting a great tone, One Night at the Cinema is another strong one that ends with the shots, Palme was shot after visiting a movie theatre with his wife. Freakshow Superstar is also a great tracks, Killer Without a Gun is probably my favourite track of the album and a great one – the video track The Baseball League is probably the worst one of the album so if you like that one the chance is very good that you will enjoy the rest of the album.

The cover is pretty cool as well, I will get the vinyl issue if I can afford it. I recommend this one, you should really have a closer look at it. Not only is it about something quite interesting and sad, and it is really well made. Sure, I am not sure about the vocals, they are a small weakness but as the songs themselves are so great it doesn’t really matter that the vocals are a bit dull. I think it would be a mistake not to check out this album, it is great.